This reply was originally posted by user K44 in ADDitude’s now-retired community.
Birthday parties really are such a stressful event for our kids, but maybe even more for us.
My son – now 8th grade – had birthday parties (or small events) until 6th grade, and I don’t think he has been invited to one himself since about 2nd grade. And as much as that steams his parents, it doesn’t really seem to bother him at all. For his 12th, he took 3 boys in the grade golfing. And I wouldn’t put any of those boys on top of a list of kids he plays with, but it didn’t matter to him because he loved it. For his 13th, we said “no party” but told him he could take a kid or two bowling. Well, he asked a few, they all said no. So at lunch table – the day before we had planned it – he asked everyone at the table if they wanted to go bowling with him the next day. He came home and said they all said yes! He was thrilled, we were stunned, but we made it happen quickly and he had a wonderful time.
So perhaps it’s just the celebration itself that he enjoys, as it is recognition to him of his value. I keep getting told that my son will make better friends later, as he matures. In 8th, at a new smaller school, it is happening. One new friend, C, is literally the best thing that happened to ME in 2016!
I agree with your idea to go against the rather ridiculous school mandate – they’re probably doing it to avoid discussions in school and hurt feelings, but they should not be trying to enforce what goes on outside of school. No handing out invitations in school though, for sure.
Good luck, as you are doing something wonderful for your child!